Syndic is a term applied in certain countries to an officer of government with varying powers, secondly to a representative or delegate of a university, institution or other corporation, entrusted with special functions or powers. The meaning which underlies both applications is that of delegate. Du Cange, after defining the word as defensor, advocatus, proceeds "Syndici maxime appellantur Actores universitatum, societatum et aliorum corporum, per quos, tanquam in republica quod communiter agi fierive oportet, agitur et fit," and gives several examples from the 13th century of the use of the term; the most familiar use of syndic in the first sense is that of the Italian sindaco (or, the head of the administration of a comune, comparable to a mayor, a government official, elected by the residents of commune. As indicated above, in Italy and parts of Switzerland, the term sindaco or sindaca is equivalent to the English term mayor, in this case, the head of the administration of a comune. In areas where Catalan or Occitan are spoken, the term has been used since Medieval times.
At present it is used in a variety of cases. The president of Andorra's parliament is known as the Síndic General Councillor; until the 1993 Constitution, the Síndic was the effective head of government of Andorra. The Sindic d'Aran / Síndic d'Aran is the head of the administration of this small region in Catalonia. In Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, the Síndic de Greuges or Síndica de Greuges is the ombudsman or ombudswoman, while the Síndic de Comptes or Síndica de Comptes is a board member of the Public Audit Office in each of the three regions. In the Valencian Parliament, the spokesperson or speaker of a parliamentary group is called a síndic or síndica, together they form the Junta de Síndics, while in the Horta de València region, a síndic is a member of the Water Tribunal, the body in charge of regulating irrigation matters. In Alguer, the síndic is the equivalent of mayor. In Europe in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, nearly all companies and the University of Paris had representative bodies the members of which were termed syndici.
In England, the Regent House of the University of Cambridge, the legislative body, delegates certain functions to special committees of its members, appointed from time to time by Grace. The term sindicat in Catalan is used in a broad sense to mean an association for the defence of the economic or social interests of its members, therefore is used generically to refer to labour organizations, as well as in the titles of certain labour organizations or federations, student organizations and journalist organizations, among others; the members or leaders of these organisations, are not called síndics. In some countries, notably France and Belgium, a syndic de copropriété is an important figure in millions of lives, elected by owners of condominiums to represent property owners in the management of the co-owned building or property. While the profession is regulated, fees are not, complaints of overcharging are frequent; the Association des responsables de copropriété reported that fees rose by 4% in 2016, though the rate of inflation was only 0.2%, since 2014 three of the largest syndics in Paris have raised their fees by amounts ranging from 26% to 37%.
One special use of the term applies to the Franciscan order of brothers. The Order of Friars Minor, as opposed to the Order of Friars Minor Conventual is forbidden by its constitutions from owning property, as part of its commitment to communal poverty. Various arrangements therefore exist whereby churches and houses of the order are owned by the Holy See itself, or the local diocese or, sometimes, by a "syndic," an independent layman, the actual owner of the land but who loans it to the friars. Within Syndicalist and Anarcho-syndicalist organizations, a syndic is a member of an autonomous union called a Syndicate, which make up the basic organizational unit of society; as these models are organized along principles of non-hierarchy and direct democracy, the title syndic is applied to all in the syndicate and does not imply a position of power over any other member, unlike older usages of the title. Bankruptcy Syndicalism Trustee The Dispossessed, a novel with syndics
Seat of local government
In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre, a guildhall, a Rathaus, or a municipal building, is the chief administrative building of a city, town, or other municipality. It houses the city or town council, its associated departments, their employees, it usually functions as the base of the mayor of a city, borough, or county/shire. By convention, until the mid 19th-century, a single large open chamber formed an integral part of the building housing the council; the hall may be used for other significant events. This large chamber, the "town hall" has become synonymous with the whole building, with the administrative body housed in it; the terms "council chambers", "municipal building" or variants may be used locally in preference to "town hall" if no such large hall is present within the building. The local government may endeavor to use the town hall building to promote and enhance the quality of life of the community. In many cases, "town halls" serve not only as buildings for government functions, but have facilities for various civic and cultural activities.
These may include art shows, stage performances and festivals. Modern town halls or "civic centres" are designed with a great variety and flexibility of purpose in mind; as symbols of local government and town halls have distinctive architecture, the buildings may have great historical significance – for example the Guildhall, London. City hall buildings may serve as cultural icons that symbolize their cities; the term "town hall" may be a general one applied without regard to whether the building serves or served a town or a city. This is the case in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong, many other Commonwealth countries. English-speakers in some regions use the term "city hall" to designate the council offices of a municipality of city status; this is the case in North America. The Oxford English Dictionary sums up the generic terms: town hall: "A large hall used for the transaction of the public business of a town, the holding of a court of justice, entertainments, etc.. Conversely, cities that have subdivisions with their own councils may have borough halls.
In Scotland, local government in larger cities operates from the "City Chambers", otherwise the "Town House". Elsewhere in English-speaking countries, other names are used. In London, the official headquarters of administration of the City of London retains its Anglo-Saxon name, the Guildhall, signifying a place where taxes were paid. In a small number of English cities the preferred term is "Council House": this was the case in Bristol until 2012, when the building was renamed "City Hall". In Birmingham, there is a distinction between the Council House, the seat of local government, the Town Hall, a concert and meeting venue which pre-dates it. In the City of Sheffield, the distinction is between the Town Hall, the seat of local government, the City Hall, a concert and ballroom venue. Large halls called basilicas were used in Ancient Rome for the administration of justice, as meeting places, for trade. In the Early Medieval period, the hall, a single large open chamber, was the main, sometimes only room of the home of a feudal lord.
There the lord lived with his family and retinue, ate and administered rule and justice. Activities in the hall played an essential role in the functioning of the feudal manor, the administrative unit of society; as manorial dwellings developed into manor houses and palaces, the hall, or "great hall" as it was termed, remained an essential unit within the architectural complex. In the Middle Ages or early modern period, many European market towns erected communal market halls, comprising a covered open space to function as a sheltered marketplace at street level, one or more rooms used for public or civic purposes on the upper floor or floors; such buildings were the precursors of dedicated town halls. The modern concept of the town hall developed with the rise of regional government. Cities administered by a group of elected or chosen representatives, rather than by a lord or princely ruler, required a place for their council to meet; the Cologne City Hall of 1135 is a prominent example for self-gained municipal autonomy of medieval cities.
The Palazzo Pubblico of the Republic of Siena and the Palazzo Vecchio of the Republic of Florence, both town halls, date from 1297 and 1299 respectively. In each case the large, fortified building comprises a large meeting hall and numerous administrative chambers. Both buildings are topped by tall towers. Both buildings have ancient timepieces. Both buildings have facilities for the storage of documents and references that pertain to the city's administration; these features: a hall, a tower and a clock, as well as administrative chambers and an archive or muniment room became the standard features of town halls across Europe